Clicking buttons on a remote is so 2013. In 2014 and beyond, gadget makers are turning their attention to voice commands and gesture controls as the preferred method of navigating on-screen interfaces and controlling the various devices in your home. But what about all of the devices you already own that don’t support gestures and voice commands?
Companies are hard at work on accessories that will drag your old devices kicking and screaming into the future, and one such offering has just been unveiled that will add Kinect-like gesture support to your Apple TV, Nest thermostat and more.
“Every device in our homes, from the TV to the cable box to the thermostat, has its own control system and remotes, cables or apps for operation, resulting in lots of clutter and fragmentation,” EyeSight CEO Gideon Shmuel said in a press release. “To solve this problem, we developed onecue, a control center to bring together all of these devices through a natural, easy-to-use interface that leverages our years of experience in gesture recognition technology to let you experience your home through your fingertips.”
Onecue is a small device that sits on top of your TV or anywhere else and acts as a control hub for everything in your house. At least, that is the endgame for EyeSight, the company behind the device. For the time being it can only control the Apple TV, Nest Learning Thermostat, Phillips Hue lightbulb and a few other devices.
EyeSight is a well-known player in the gesture control space, having developed “touch-free interfaces” for Lenovo, Philips and Toshiba in the past.
The company’s first direct-to-consumer device will be the Onecue, and here are three key features:
- Unification of devices: By wirelessly consolidating control of home entertainment and smart home devices, onecue enables even standard devices, such as televisions and cable boxes, to become simpler and easier to use. By unifying control of devices to a single interface, users can perform many basic functions through gestures, eliminating much of the need for multiple remotes, apps and excess cables.
- Gesture recognition and control: Using hand tracking and gesture recognition technology, onecue translates motions into wireless commands. For example, users can select with an “air click,” closing and reopening the palm, and mute the system by placing a finger to their lips, in a “shush” motion. These simple gesture controls work in tandem with a modern, intuitive interface and LCD display to provide a clear indication of the connected devices and available controls.
- Quick mobile setup: Via iOS and Android apps, device setup is made quick and easy while still allowing for a high level of device customization. For instance, you can program onecue to turn on the television, cable box and stereo simultaneously. With a single wave, you can turn on three separate devices, something that would otherwise take multiple remotes or multiple clicks.
Onecue is available for preorder beginning Monday on the Onecue website, which is linked below in our source section. It will initially cost $129 during pre-sales, and then will jump to $199 when it launches sometime early next year.